Hooray for half term! It’s an opportunity to catch up with friends and a chance to enjoy some of my favourite things. Today I was meant to be playing tennis but sadly the weather was against us. One of the lovely ladies I was due to be playing with loves banana cake so I decided to give this recipe, that I had seen ages ago, a try. You cannot fail with combination of chocolate and banana and it was indeed very tasty. This is a Delicious Magazine recipe. It does take a little big longer than your average banana bread recipe to make as you need to make a syrupy topping for the upside-down bananas but it does look impressive when you turn it out.
I thought I had managed to cook mine to perfection as after 45 minutes a skewer came out clean. However, when I cut into it I found the centre was not quite there so I would definitely recommend cooking it for the full 50 minutes. You will need a 23cm springform tin. It would make a great dessert served warm with vanilla ice cream or would be equally nice cold with a cup of tea or coffee.
200g unsalted butter (softened, plus extra to grease)
100g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
3 medium free-range eggs
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
150g dark chocolate chips
120ml whole milk
For the caramel and banana topping
50g unsalted butter
70g soft light brown sugar
70ml maple syrup
4-5 just ripe bananas (sliced in half lengthways – I used large ones and only needed 3)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan160°C/Gas 4 and grease a 23cm springform cake tin.
2. To make the topping, put the 50g butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook at a gentle simmer, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is thick and golden.
3. Pour the syrup into the cake tin. Arrange the sliced bananas, cut-side down, over the base of the tin.
4. Put the 200g butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt, then gently fold through the mixture with a large wooden spoon. Mix in the mashed bananas, chocolate chips and enough milk to reach a dropping consistency – the mixture should drop heavily from the spoon when lifted (you may not need to use all the milk – I didn’t need to). Dollop the batter evenly over the bananas and smooth the top with a spatula.
6. Put the cake on a baking tray, then bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then invert onto a large serving plate.